Bargersville Fire offers Christmas cookouts and tree safety tips

Bargersville Fire offers Christmas cookouts and tree safety tips

As Christmas approaches, a local firefighter offers tips for celebrating safely.

Starting in the kitchen, people should try to keep everyone out of the room while cooking, leaving only essential people there. That’s because there will be a lot of hot pans and movements with sharp objects as people cook their holiday meals, said Mike Pruitt, deputy fire chief for the Bargersville Community.

This is especially important when visiting family, especially children, Pruitt said.

Chefs should make sure to pay attention to what they are doing while preparing holiday meals. If they get distracted and leave something cooked on the stove, for example, a fire could break out, he said.

“It’s very important that we pay close attention and not get so distracted that we forget what we’re cooking. We run risks out there,” Pruitt said.

People should also avoid burning discarded wrapping paper. He said it should instead be thrown in the trash.

Burning paper outside is illegal and burning it in a fireplace or wood stove may cause creosote buildup in the flue. That could cause the creosote to catch fire, possibly spreading to the rest of the house, Pruitt said.

“Don’t burn any of these products in your fireplace because we know what happens. I’ve seen people do that,” he said.

People with live Christmas trees should be sure to take them out, as they can become a fire hazard. If the tree starts to turn brown or if a large amount of needles fall off when you shake it, those are signs that it has become too dry, Pruitt said.

He added that although it would not “spontaneously combust,” if the tree came into contact with something hot, such as a candle, it would pose a significant fire risk.

“Removing that tree would be the safe thing to do,” Pruitt said.

He said live trees are safe if they are watered and cared for properly.

When it comes to disposing of live trees, people should research where to dispose of them properly. He said there are a variety of options.

More information about where Johnson County residents can drop off their live Christmas trees can be found in Tuesday’s Daily Journal.

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